The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Holocaust Museum Tragedy and DHS Warnings

Wednesday, on Fox News Studio-B, host Shepard Smith acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security was "warning us for a reason" on the dangers of right-wing extremists.

June 10 was a sad day in Washington as a lone gunman opened fire in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, killing a security guard and wounding another. Fortunately, innocent tourists were unharmed and safely evacuated from the site.

Yesterday, the museum was closed to mourn the death of Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns, who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the innocent. AMVETS' thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Johns.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stands as a vivid reminder of the price of hate. However, one could also view the museum as an enduring tribute to the brave Americans who helped to liberate Nazi concentration camps across Europe. This shooting is not only a slap in the face to the global Jewish community, but also to our nation's Greatest Generation--the WWII veterans who liberated an oppressed people from Nazi brutality.

In the aftermath, we have learned that the shooter was disgruntled over recently losing his social security benefits. The shooter also claims to have served in the military and is a well-documented white supremacist.

As the DHS report pointed out in April, "lone wolves" could pose a significant danger as a result of our nation's economic woes.

Yesterday's shooting was the second incident carried out in the last few weeks by self-identified right-wing extremists, along with the shooting of abortion doctor James Tiller.

When discussing the recent controversial DHS report, Shepard Smith put it best: "They were right."

At the time, I posted comments on this blog that the report should serve as a wake-up call that right-wing extremists seek to exploit the skills of veterans. AMVETS issued a call-to-action to ensure that veterans do not feel disenfranchised as a result of their combat experiences and that we all feel a sense of pride in our great nation.

As we saw with the recent DHS reports, sometimes the truth is not pretty. Out of this tragedy I hope our nation heeds this very realistic warning, rather than listening to politically-motivated pundits who seek to polarize us at such a critical time. Please let us know what you think about this tragedy and the lessons we can all learn.


(Photo: The 15th Street/Eisenhower Plaza entrance to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Photo by Max Reid, USHMM Photo Archives. Rights-free image may not be altered in any way, in accordance with USHMM guidelines.)

1 comment:

  1. Eldon Hoerschelman USMC 1968-69Friday, June 12, 2009 1:46:00 PM

    Have read an article where he targeted the conservative Weekly Standard, so might be just extremist without a label. Some are comparing him to Unabomber.